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Bishops cross with Coat of Arms of Pope Pius IX

To find an original piece of antique jewelry with papal arms is a very rare thing indeed, even for us. And then to find one which commemorates a unique situation in papal history is even more rare. The coat of arms on this cross belong to Pope Pius IX who was the longest reigning pope in history (31 years). This unique bishops cross is made in solid 18K warm yellow gold and bears on one side the papal coat of arms and on the other side a Latin text. This Latin text at the back explains that this cross was given to (arch)bishops at the pope's golden episcopal jubilee in 1877 (MDCCCLXXVII).


As the coat of arms is attached to the cross with little golden screws we decided to carefully open it and we found a secret place! With the closer examination of this well-hidden space we found that it was filled with some darker colored material (see picture). We did not want to touch it, so we do not know what it is but we wouldn't be surprised would it be some sort of relic. Normally we clean all jewelry before we offer it for sale but for obvious reasons we did not touch this jewel in order to leave it in its original condition.


Pope Pius IX (May 13, 1792 February 7, 1878), born Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti, reigned as Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from his election in June 16, 1846, until his death more than 31 years later in 1878. Pius IX was elected as the candidate of the liberal and moderate wings on the College of Cardinals, following the pontificate of arch-conservative Pope Gregory XVI. Initially sympathetic to democratic and modernizing reforms in Italy and in the Church, Pius became increasingly conservative after he was deposed as the temporal ruler of the Papal States in the events that followed the Revolutions of 1848. He formally defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and organized the First Vatican Council, which defined the dogma of papal infallibility.


See also: The official Vatican site and Wikipedia.



OBJECT GROUP : pendants
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN : Although it does not carry any legible control marks we believe it is of Italian origin.
STYLE : Victorian
PERIOD : 1877
SOURCE OF INSPIRATION : Christianity
THEME : Latin cross - There exist several types of crosses, and the one this pendant represents is a Latin cross on which, according to Augustinus, Christ was crucified.
MATERIAL : 18K yellow gold
WEIGHT : 20.90 gram (13.44 dwt)
TEXT : MDCCLXXVII ANNO - L A.CONSECRATIONE EPISCOPALI PII - IX P.M. ROMAE which translates to something as: Anno 1877 - to the sanctification of the bishops of Pope Pius the 9th - Rome
HALLMARKS : No trace
CONDITION : Excellent condition - (click here for our condition scale)
MEASUREMENTS : Width approx. 2.88 cm (1.13 inch) and height approx. 5.38 cm (2.12 inch)


WHEN REFERRING TO THIS PIECE : Mention the following number: 07302-0848 or click here.


Click on the following links to see more of our:
Crosses without crucifix
Christian jewelry
Latest acquisitions.

Bishops cross with Coat of Arms of Pope Pius IX
Click picture to enlarge
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